Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A better class of lost and found

As you'd expect, you get a better class of lost and found notices in a leading art school. This from the Royal College of Art notice board.

Negatives in signs

The grammar of warning signs is somewhat challenged by these examples, found within a few metres of each other in Hyde Park.

These icons are clear enough for me. Although, according to international standards, the red circle should be enough, in the UK we've never quite accepted its negative force,. So we tend to add a diagonal line to make sure.

But what I like about this is the additional prohibition: "It is an offence to damage this sign". I want to see that as a pictogram, please – the hand that was feeding the squirrel now attacking the sign with a hammer... all in a red circle with a line through it.

Pragmatically I'm fine with this, but it's a challenge to the sign regs pedant. A red circle generally means no whatever is depicted inside the circle. So this says 'no dogs on leads'... doesn't it?
So we'd need a dog with no lead in the circle... perhaps accompanied by a permissive sign for dogs with leads (generally white on blue).

This one seems to reflect the fact that No Cycling signs don't seem to work - the designer is just having a go at something different to see if it'll work. The black bike in a red circle apparently has come to mean 'cyclists welcome', if the pedestrianised shopping streets of Reading are anything to go by.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The inevitable typo

Some words are so confusable you can sense the typo around the corner before you get to it.

So it is with a leaflet from a neighbour who is raising funds for the Britain Nepal Otology Service. This worthy organisation sends medical teams to Nepal to treat ear problems. They don't treat people who are unsure whether they exist: that's the Britain Nepal Ontology Service mentioned on page 2.

I wonder if there is a Britain Tibet Ontology Service.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Chasing the answers

Here's a quiz in the Times iPad edition. The answers are upside down, so you just turn the screen around to read them.